Why the 100% Renewable Energy Mandate May Hurt Hawaii

Hawaii has recently adopted a policy of 100% renewable energy which may sound good, but in reality, may be harmful for our economy. “The sun doesn’t shine all the time, and it’s very unpredictable. The wind doesn’t blow all the time,” said James M. Taylor, weekly columnist for Forbes, and senior fellow of Environment and Energy Policy the Heartland Institute.  

Taylor joined Joe Kent on “The Grassroot Institute with Dr. Keli’i Akina” a weekly show on KAOI 1110AM 96.7FM.  James Taylor discussed why becoming 100% renewable may actually be impossible, and furthermore, may not be best for Hawaii’s economy.

According to Mr. Taylor, renewable energy can be seen as a better option compared to our conventional energy since it burns less oil producing electricity and possibly produces cheaper energy in the long run. However, the problem with the renewable energy mandate is that it’s impossible to reach 100%. “The sun’s energy is diffused, it’s not concentrated like oil, coal or natural gases,” said Mr. Taylor.

Capturing renewable energy requires extensive equipment to obtain it and also to store it which causes it to be 3-5 times more expensive than conventional power including fossil fuels, according to the Brookings Institution. “Solar power, even with the latest, best technologies available today, are about 5 times more expensive than conventional power,” said Mr. Taylor.

Mr. Taylor stated that in Hawaii, we already pay more for our electricity costs, and renewable energy will only increase the price, possibly doubling or tripling costs. An average household may be paying up to $2000 per year extra on top of their electric bill which is money that could be used to buy goods and services to sustain Hawaii’s economy.

Ohio, Kansas and West Virginia have tried to renewable mandates, but were unsuccessful because it became too expensive.

Mr. Taylor stated that we have hundreds of years left for fossil fuels and there’s an untapped resource called Methane Hydrates which is sitting there waiting to be developed. He estimates that in roughly 30-40 years from now renewable energy will be a viable solution, however playing the card too soon can harm our economy in the process.

For the full audio, click below:

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